Kingdoms of Treasure | Matthew 6:19-24 (Mville)
Topic: New Testament Passage: Matthew 6:19–6:24
Good Morning! We are continuing our series in the Book of Matthew looking at Jesus the promised Savior-King of God’s people. Jesus has begun His public ministry and has now drawn a large crowd to hear his preaching of the gospel of turning from sin to the kingdom of God and his teaching about what that actually looks like. So we are in the middle of this Message of the King. We spent several weeks looking at how the law to love God and love people, while appearing simple, has deep implications over all aspects of our lives. Last week we saw in the Lord’s prayer we are completely reliant on God for our daily and moment by moment provision “daily bread”. He is powerful to provide for us. God is the creator and owner of all that exists, we also saw last week that for those who trust in Jesus, God adopts as His children and we call Him “father. He lovely provides for us and graciously gives us good gifts. Jesus knows how easily we turn our attention and affections from the King/Father/Gift-Giver, to the gifts He’s given us and pursue them, serve them rather than loving God and loving people. Jesus knows money is used specifically by us to show what we value, so Jesus taught much on money. He didn’t give one command or one check list He gave several, as indeed the bible speaks much of money and how to use it and why. Jesus talked more about money then Heaven, then Hell, more than sex or family or parenting. Money, our relationship with it and uses of it, was and is a big deal to Jesus. We’re not going to cover all of Jesus or the bibles vast teaching on the subject of wealth and money but were looking at some big guiding principal Jesus lays out during this specific sermon as he is speaking to disciples in community about what it means to be part of the kingdom of God and what the obligations, pitfalls, and hopes are for those who have material abundance.
Matthew 6: 19-24 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Treasure on Earth vs Treasures in Heaven. V 19-20
What is Treasure? It absolutely includes money, but it is a big all-inclusive term of anything we see as valuable. Don’t let your relationship with money off the hook during this sermon, but think outside the box. What is your Treasure? How do you find that out? A.W. Tozer gave these four basic questions:
What do you value most? What would you most hate to lose? What do you think about most when you have free time? (what do you talk about most?) What brings you the greatest amount of pleasure?
What are the conversations you have with yourself where you say “If only I had X, life would be better”? What are the things you “need” in life? See we pervert that word all the time by turning desires into essentials which moves us from want to be pursued to rights we’re entitled too. So we waste time and energy to acquire “treasures” that we’ve miss labeled as needs so we’ve freed ourselves to use whatever means necessary and we’re justified because it’s now a “need.”
Jesus says earthly treasure is a bad investment. Why, because earthly treasures wear out, they are corrupted rust meaning there are thinks about them that lead them to easily decay or be devoured. When they’re gone or rotten we are quickly led to discontentment so we spend and get, or strive to achieve, but then are less content then we previously were. Your interest in worldly treasures wears out. Ask your kids about their Christmas presents. Are you still as excited about the super bowl as you were in Feb? They give a false sense of independence. “I don’t have to rely on God, government, job, or other people I am independent and have my own kingdom. I am not limited in my choices; I can have it all on my own.”
Outside forces come in and steal them. People can have more, or better, or different then you and rather than loving someone else you have envy of them. It’s really hard to love people you are envious of or that you think have taken something from you that “you needed” or “deserved” How have you let others come in and rob you of joy? How have you allowed you joy to be in things that can be easily taken away?
Psalm 49:16-17 16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.
Not only do earthly treasures not last, and you can’t take them with you. (Putting curtains on an airplane ride) Jesus says, it’s a bad investment because this world is not going to remain. They WILL be destroyed they WILL be taken at death. This doesn’t mean we don’t plan and make wise investment for our existence here on earth, but it does mean our accumulation must have a purpose beyond our earthly concerns.
Jesus knows our materialism can be the greatest single competitor for our affections and can cripple us from being effective for the mission of the gospel. How have you used your money, time, resources in a way forget God and his ownership of everything? And used those things for yourself alone or providing specifically for your needs? Remember we’re told to love God and love people, so we are to use our time talent and treasure for those purposes. Have you assigned an actual purpose for your money? Like set up values and percentages. We are not to act like what we have been given is ours. It is all His and we are to be faithful managers who use what we have been given to love him and love people.
Treasures in heaven. What are they? Jesus doesn’t say much here about what they are, but he is clear how they compare to earthly treasure. Because heaven is as sinless place possession and achievements in heaven are not corrupted by sin. This means they don’t wear out and can never be exhausted. They can be used and not used up. Rewards can be enjoyed and the enjoyment doesn’t end. Our enjoyment of them will not wane because they are of an eternal value. For Christians this is our destination and so when we have treasures there we can enjoy them forever. God is the guardian of our treasure.
Avoiding storing up treasure on earth is not a goal on its own. It has to be paired with the purpose or strategy of storing up treasures in heaven. Jesus isn’t against the accumulation of treasure Jesus doesn’t say “lay up treasurers for the collective good.” Jesus isn’t a communist! He commands us to story up treasure, He says “for yourselves.” Don’t avoid investment, invest in that which is eternal, treasures or rewards in Heaven. At least 25 times in the New Testament there is teaching on rewards in heaven, for what? Good works. Whoa, good works? Yup, Jesus is all about gospel motivation and incentive for work. If we say we’re not to be motivated by rewards then we’re doing Christ a disservice by saying we don’t see the rewards promised by Him of enough value to be cared about. Our good works are not for our salvation; that comes from faith. But Jesus is clear our actions either accumulate treasure for this world or are preparing treasures in the next. “What we do here echoes into eternity.” (Yes that’s from gladiator, but it’s also true.) No you can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead. - Randy Alcon.
Jim Elliot “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Yes we are to be givers, but don’t miss the point we also GAIN! Jesus wants us to pursue gain and not reject wealth and gifts God has prepared for us. Psalm 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! The point isn’t to stifle desire, or ambition, or motivation, it is to proper redirect it from what is here that ends to what is there that never ends. Treasures in heaven WILL NOT be destroyed, they WILL NOT be taken. Put your treasure where it is safe.
Heart Treasure v21
It doesn’t matter what you say you love. Love is a verb so it matters what you actually do. Confession of Jesus, profession faith, are meaningless if something else is functioning as your treasure. This is a call to look at your finances and your schedule. How are you spending your time and money? That will tell you where your heart REALLY is. Our battle is not with the budget or the income it’s with our heart first. Money isn’t about math it’s about worship. Money is tied to our hearts. What does this look like in how we instruct our children about money? Is it all just practical management or is it deeper in terms of understanding how we spend and what we spend on is preaching something all the time. How does money affect our hearts?
It is important to note Jesus doesn’t say look in to your heart and there your treasure will be also. He says our heart will follow where we put our treasure. So let’s talk about time instead of money. You start spending time in a place or with a people you don’t really have much in common with or relationship with and eventually your interest in them will grow as you continue to invest time. The more you invest the greater your interest. (Plug in deep) Yes our actions can flow from our affections, but we can also redirect our affections by where/how/how much we act. So we see that treasure(money) do not merely indicate where our heart is, it determines where our heart goes. I want to have more of a heart for…. Family, church, missions, the poor, homeless, whatever it is, put some time, energy, and money there! Jesus is telling us to put our money where your mouth is! (PRC, Church planting) We’re selective, but we’re also directive.
Start giving, God loves a cheerful giver yes, he also loves an obedient one. “I am not cheerful, so I won’t give till I am.” Give even when you don’t feel like it. The problem isn’t with our money it’s with our heart. Withholding giving or participation when things are tough is not a way to redirect your heart. This seems like a hard word but look at this verse reversed, “Where your treasure isn’t, your heart will not be.”
Gospel Vision v22-23
It in the context of what we value, Jesus talks about what we see. We are always fixated and focused on something, we have hopes, we have dreams we entertain. They are not neutral. Our vision, what we focus on, what we feast our eyes and mind with have incredible power, what we see can be incredibly motivating. So what do you have your eyes fixed on, what do you notice because your treasure and heart have said they are valuable. Our motivations can also be all controlling because they lead to action.
We have a vision problem. Our vision problem is we only see what is right in front of us. Few of us are long term planners and those of us that are don’t plan much beyond 5 year, at best we look to the end of our lives on earth. That is it. So we spend most of our time living and looking from the perspective that this world and this life are all there is so why not accumulate as much, money, achievements, possessions, experiences, pleasure now as possible with little regard for others. When we misuse money or resources it is rarely out of ignorance failing to plan, it is when we really don’t care what God or anyone else’s wisdom says. We have become blinded to our sinful selfishness so we’re going to use money to get what we want. Our vision is clouded. What do you feed your eyes with? (Example, Pinterest can = covet.com )
Darkened by tunnel vision of this world only, we will live for this world only. There is a reality, you will part with your money, your job, your family, this church, this community, someday. We don’t have a choice there, but we can choose to part with those things now, and hand them over to the Lord now, and have them used for His purposes now. This is the choice Jesus gives us short term temporary unsatisfying enjoyment or perceived security? Or lasting eternal deeply satisfying joy that can never be taken away.
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
We have “Beer goggles” that warp our prespective. We are intoxicated with this world, what it delights in, and have come to believe things that are shallow and weak are actually deep and strong. We need to sober up and see where we have been in is not that great. We need the lights turned up, we need to walk out of the basement, and start seeing a vision of what is really to come. Jesus calls us to look further and see more. He knows we will only live for more if we can actually see more! This life is significant but it’s not the end of the story, it’s the preface. There are two different gospels laid out. Both promise safety, peace, security, comfort, pleasure. But one will come to an end and the other will continue for eternity.
2 Cor 4:3-6 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Jesus makes the blind to see!
If you are believer in Jesus Christ as Lord you will see the world entirely differently than a non-believer. Some things unbelievers get supremely excited about might not seem quite so amazing or spectacular. While other things the world cares little about, like the condition of peoples eternal souls, start to seem amazingly significant. This vision of the gospel changes the way we see everything. Current events, job, career, investment opportunities, look different in light of the gospel. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. -C.S. Lewis
Don’t be content with a little bit of vision of God’s glory, a little bit of bible knowledge, a little bit of church participation, performing some ministry some time. Crave more! You want treasure, you want wealth, you want something extraordinary, press into what God wants for you know and work for where he promises we’re going in the life to come. We are to look beyond the haze we see here to a new horizon where we see both kingdoms side by side and long for the coming country while loving those in this one. With our vision right, Jesus calls us to choose which king and which kingdom we are going to serve.
Two Masters v24
Jesus has clear laid out there are two kingdoms we can accumulate treasure in earth or heaven, two ways of viewing the world in , either in darkness or light, and there are only two masters we will ultimately serve God or money. Choices have to be made on who you serve, it’s not actually just a one-time choice but one that is faced daily, hourly. Money has the ability to change a lot of things in our lives but it has no ability to actually make us a new person, just a dressed up version of the person we already are. We can uses money to finance our kingdom. There is no neutrality. Every time we spend or fail to spend, or hold back, or invest wisely is an act of worship to one master or another. Either we are intentionally or unintentionally serving ourselves or we are intentionally serving the Lord. Which kingdom are you in?
We can have lots of things pulling at our attention, time, and finances, but there is only one throne in our lives that governs our interactions with all of these different areas. It is a grand throne but it is only big enough for one king to claim it. Mammon, is used for money but is real means false god or god substitute. So what do you want the real or the knock off?
Romans 6:16-18 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
Our citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven, our adopted status in the Father’s family is never to be on the external, margins, periphery of our lives it is to define all of it. There is no room on the throne for God to rule over the destination of your soul and you to rule over the discretion of our dollars. We can only bend our knees and cast our crowns to one of the king. There is a battle, between King Jesus and king money, if you don’t feel a conflict then you’re losing and losing very badly. One of these kings will be your master and motivator and guide every other decision you make. You can’t be a double agent. You will love one less and serve the other more. What can be gained for you, and others, based on which king you choose to serve? What could our church look like if all of us put him on the throne? How would it change your family? How would it change our community? One king will take everything and leave you dead with nothing, the other gave up everything and so you could walk with Him in life from now through eternity.
2 Cor8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
When disillusion hits, when discontentment hits, when envy hits we don’t go back to king money hoping to temporarily ease the pain, run back to King Jesus who paid it all on the cross and promises treasure and pleasure forever! King money always loses, King Jesus wins, choose Jesus, Trust Jesus.
More in The King Has Come | Matthew
May 11, 2014Jesus the Rock | Matthew 7:24-29 (Mville)
May 11, 2014Jesus is (Scary) Gracious | Matthew 7.15-23 (Snoh)
May 4, 2014Kingdom Admission | Matthew 7:13-23 (Mville)